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TABLE OF CONTENTS 01 March 2012
Page Nr 1 TITLE! SUMMARY !WRITER Weather Forecast NEWSPAPER Phil Star p. A-28

AIUn" RELATED

ISSUES Peoples Tonight p. 13

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Shallow grave yields man's body in Bicol A shallow grave of a victim "summarily" executed bu New People's Army rebels since 2007 was discovered by soldiers of the Army's 83rd Infantry Battalion in Sitio Ikanbayong, Brgy. Maysuram, Caramoran, Catanduanes.(Sonny Sales) Photo: Col. Eduardo Ana, commander of the Army's 201st Infantry Brigade ... (Genli Formaran) 3 Maguindanao high school students shot dead Three high school students fell dead after gunmen raked them with gunfire when the victims ignored the suspects' warning not to fish in their territory in Parang, Maguindanao. Reports sent to Camp Crame identified the fatalities as Jubert Sumilhig dela Cerna, 13, Rico Divinagracia, 15 and Jomar Tamar, 13, students of Parang National High SchooL (Raffy Ayeng) Joma in Iloilo reports denied There is no truth to the news that Communist Party Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria "Joma" Sison has arrived country and is in Iloilo. (Tara Yap) No Joma in lIoilo- military There is no truth to the news that Communist Party Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria "Joma" Sison has arrived country and is in 1I0ilo.(TaraYap) of the in the

Peoples Tonight p. 13 Manila Times p. A-7

3

Manila Bulletin p. 9

Tempo p. 5 of the in the Ngayon p. 6

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Pagpapasabog sa tulay nasilat ~ Napigilan ang pagpapasabog sa importanteng tulay sa lsabela matapos matagpuan ng mga awtoridad ang bombasa ilang haligi ng tulay sa Barangay Dibuluan, bayan ng Jones kamakalawa.(Raymund Catindig)

ItFP RELATED ISSUES
5 For role in carnage 3 MILF men suspended The Mora Islamic liberation Front (MILF) leadership announced yesterday the three-month suspension of three of its Basilanbased ground commanders due to their active role in the Oct. 18, 2011 ambush of 19 government soldiers in the town of AI-Barka. (Jaime Laude) MILF suspends 3 commanders for pact violations in AI 8arka The Mora Islamic Liberation Front yesterday said it has suspended three of its commanders in Basilan for violating a cease-fire agreement with government, which led to a clash between government and MILF forces in October last year. (Victor Reyes) Three MILF commanders suspended for violating truce with government The secessionist Mora Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has suspended three commanders in Basilan for violating the ceasefire agreement with the government in connection with last oct's 10-hour firefight with Army Special Forces in AI Barka town that resulted in the killing of 24 people. (MarioJ. Mallari) Phil Star p. 1

Malaya p. B-2

6-7

Daily Tribune p. 3

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Tentorio case: 2 tagged 'brains' not charged A colleague of murdered Italian rrussionary Fr. Fausto Tentoria questioned the failure of the National Bureau of Investigation to charge a businessman and a former police chief as masterminds in the murder of Tentoria on Oct. 17 last year. (Jeoffrey Maitem) Navy slay suspects want Ombudsman impeached The lawyer of the Navy officers accused of murdering Ensign Philip Pestano in 1995 on Wednesday raised the possibility of filing an impeachment complaint against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales over her decision to revive the case. (OJ Yap) Navy men want acquittal in Pestano slay The Navy men implicated in the death of Ensign Philip Pestana in 1995 yesterday called on the Office of the Ombudsman to dismiss the case against them for lack of jurisdiction as they maintain their innocence in the crime. EDrrotUAIJ'OPlNION Children in armed conflict (Alexander Yano) NPA strikes again (Emesto M Maceda} NGOs linked with CPP blocking power plants (Boblt S Avila)

PDf p. A-16

POI p. A-6

Phil Star p. 10

9

10 11
12-13

Manila Times p. A-4 Phil Star p. 17 Phil Star p. 17

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March 2012

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Easterlies prevail over eastern Visayas and Mindanao, bringing mostly cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms. The rest of the country will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms. Coastal waters in the eastern section of the country will be moderate to rough. Elsewhere, seas will be slight to moderate. Temperature forecasts: Metro Manila, 23-33 degrees Celsius; Bagnio City, 14-25; Tagaytay City, 22-30; Subic and Clark zone, 24-33; Metro Cebu, 25-31; Metro Davao, 24-32; and Cagayan de Oro, 22-32:. . Tidal predictions in Manila Bay: high tide at 3:24 p.m. at 0.82 meter. Sunrise' is at 6:13 a.m.; sunset at
6,04

WEATHER FORECAST

p.m.

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1 March

2012

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.Shallow gravevields man's bodv in Bicol
By SONNY SALES
CAMP Ells Angeles, Camarines Sur -- A shallow' grave of a victim "summarily" executed by New People's Army rebels since' 2007 was discovered by soldiers of the Army's 83rd Infantry Battalion in Sitio ·Ikanbay. ong, Bgy. Maysuram, Caramoran, .Catanduanes. . Exhumed 'in a shallow grave was the skeletal remains of a certain Joel C. Pongan, former rebel who joined the CAFGU. The victim's mother. Cansuelo Rongan, 60, identified the remains through particles of his clothing. a necklace the victim was wearing when he was abducted by NP A rebels in his house in Bgy. Maysuram on June 25, 2007. Commanding officer of the 83rd IB Lt. Col. Rod Batang said the grave was discovered through the information given by former NPA rebels. He helped the family of Pongan in filing charges against the rebels' responsible for the killing' .. Earlier. the skeletal remains of Honesto Oias Jr. who was believed executed by the rebels was exhumed in Bgy. Calabasa, Labo, Camarines Norte. by elements of the Army's49th lB. Maj. Angelo' S_ Guzman, spokesman of the 9th Infrantry . Division here, said yesterday.' .. Guzman said the skeletel remains were exhumed last·Feb. 19..

Col. Eduardo Ano, commander of ·the Army's 20ist· 'Infantry 'Brlgade based In Quezon, receives the_ Best Brigade Award from Armed Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Jessie Dellosa during' the Southern Luzon '. Command .' (Soleom) 25th. founding anniversary held a! <r:amp Gum· enno Nakar In Lucena City on Tuesday~ Ano'was commended for leading his brigade to i~s maxlmWm military. perfonnance that resulted in the capture and mfutraDzation of some Communist Party of the Phlls./New, Peapie's Army top ranking officials in Southern Tagalog region, including Tlrso "Ka Bart" Alcantara who headed the Melito Glor Command. Aside from Ano, 16 other . military officers and personnel and five civilians were also awarded. Assisting Dellosa .ls Solcom commander .Lt. Gen. Roland Detabali. Photo by GEMI FQRMARAN

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March 2012

~e Jlantla ~tme5
3 MAGUINDANAO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS SHOT DEAD
THREEhigh school students fell dead after gunmen raked them with gunfire when the victims ignored the suspects' warning not to fish in their territory in Parang, Maguindanao. Reports sent to (amp Crarne identified the fatalities as Jubert Sumilhig dela Cerna, 13, Rico Divinagracia, 15 and JomarTamar, 13,student5 of Parang National High School. The report said the assailants accosted the victims and shot them one after the other with M16 and M14 assault rifles. Witnesses told investigators that the gunmen first reprimanded the victims for ignoring previous warnings to stop fishing ana river crossing their farm. Local authorities and members of the Army's 37th Infantry Battalion are now conducting hot pursuit against the suspeds.!tAFFY AYENG

JODla
By TARA YAP

In Iloilo Reports Denied
saying Sison arrived in Iloilo onboard a plane from Hong Kong. However, the new Iloilo Airport has no international flights. Capt. Reylan Java, 3ID spokesman, disclosed that no information has reached its intelligence unit. He also said there was no confirmation from the Military Intelligence Group (MIG) of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces ofthe Philippines (ISAFP) about such report. "It would be impossible for the military not to know given it involves a high-profiled personality," Java emphasized. He also said this may be another case of unreliable information from an unreliable source. Java cited the incident last September 2011when there were reports on the alleged presence of a special unit of the New People's Army (NPA), the CPP's armed group, in Iloilo City. S/Supt. Marietto Valerio, city police director, claimed that a special partisan unit (SPARU)was targeting politicians and businessmen. "It later turned out the information was from a retired military officer," Java said.

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ILOILO CITY,Iloilo .: There is no truth to the news that Communist party ofthe Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria "J oma" Sison has arrived in the country and is in Iloilo. Reports from two newspapers cited an anonymous military intelligence officer claiming Sison, who sought asylum in the Netherlands, arrived in the country last January and is being coddled by politicians in Iloilo. It also quoted the military officer

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()l March 2012

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No Joma in Iloilo -military'
ILOILO City, Iloilo - There is . no truth to the news that Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria "Joma" Sison has arrived in the country and is in Iloilo. "Apparently, Joma was interviewed by DZRH while in the Netherlands," said Maj. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr., commander of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division (3ID). Reports from two newspapers . cited an anonymous military intelligence officer claiming that Sison, who sought asylum in The Netherlands, arrived in the country . last January and is being coddled by politicians in Iloilo, It also quoted the military officer saying Sison arrived in Iloilo onboard a plane from Hong Kong. However, the new Iloilo Airport has no international flights. Capt. Reylan Java, 3ID spokesman, disclosed that no information . has.reached its intelllqence unit. There was also no confirmation from the Military Intelligence Group (MIG) of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP). "It would be impossible for the military not to know given it invalves a high-profiledpersonality," Java emphasized. Java also said that this may be another case of unreliable information from an unreliable source.

(1tc
Pagpapasabog
ISABELA - ~ ang ~mportan~ ~ mga ~ ~ .boinba sa iIang hal' . anumang sanoan, ayon sa ~ahaya9 ng pul,isya. Nabatid . . ang nabanggit na .daymor~ . IgI ng .. mIneS. ay pangkaranrwang gl" tuIay sa Barangay Dibuluan. .. nagamit ng mga New People' bayan ng Jooes kamakaIawa Anny . "'=>niI ...~ S SatUnaipi1abaDJniPBenior .. sa '~""""::f pagsalakay ~ Frcrii'l ~.ilang . ;:..,~...,~ ng ptM'efSa ng ~ •. . ' . .......'~IQIQclII. Ang mga bomba ng ~ ~ ay kasaJukuyang sinusuri n9 5anlgahaligiilgNabailBridge mga tauhan ng bomb and Avon sa irTtlestigasym. ~ ~ experts ng 5th Army J<eDtnasakable ~ Camp Melchor deIa . .. ~ deW:erg~ < Cruzsaooyan ng Gamu. Ray. . .. " ang_ . _ . mund Catindig .

kI.19 saan maa[ing

sa ,tuiay ncsilet
pasapugin

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(Tara Yap)

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March 2012

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For role ~ncarnage" 3MILF men-suspended
By JAIME LAUDE

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) leadership announced yesterday thethree-month suspension of three of its Basilan-based grourid commanders due to their active_ role in the Oct. 18,2011 ambush of 19 government soldiers in the town of Al-Barka, It was not clear what the suspension entailed. -Asidefrom the three-month suspension, the three c-ommartders were also required to undergo ceasefire education training to keep them abreast of important issues surrounding the ongoing peacetalks, the MILF said.

For role

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"We suspended them for:three months and then they were told to undertake education, especially on the ceasefire agreement," MILF chief negotiator Mohaqher Iqbal told Camp Aguinaldo reporters in a telephone interview. Earlier, the government -and the MILF peace panels agreed to drop and close the Al-Barka carnage, based on the findings forwarded to them by the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team (lMT). _ However, the closure wa_sonly on the level of the peace negotiating panel and does .not cover criminal charges filed by the police against the MILF- rebels involved in the soldiers'slaying. ' The peace panels tapped the IMT to conduct verification an the incident in the wake of heated exchanges between the military _ and the rebels, accusing each other of ceasefire violations that resulted in the fighting. ' . In its report last month, the IMT said both parties committed violations of the prevailing ceasefire agreement. . Iqbal, however, declined to discuss the IMT report, saying that as much as they wantedto.make it public, their government .'counterparts don't want it declassified. Iqbal identified Dan Laksaw Asnawi as one of the three commanders suspended and said that he had forgotten th-enames of the two others. . '. Asnawi, kidnap-for-ransom suspect . Long Malat and Abu Sayyaf Basilan commander Furugi Indama were' the subject of law enforcement operations by the Special Forces and Scout Rangers in October. last year in Barangay Cambog, Al-Barka town .. ----A supposedly hit-and-run operation -----------------------------, OFFICE 0 turned into a full-blown firefight when add: oacpa_hpa@yahoo,com ------the soldiers virtually entered the MILF's so-called "killing zone" that subsequently . -claimed the lives of 19 government forces .. -5-

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c\

March 2012

Malaya
The National

N,ewspapu

MILF suspends 3 commanders for pact violations in Al Barka
BY VICTOR REYES SLAP on the wrist? The Moro Islamic Liberation Front yesterday said it has suspended three of its commanders in Basilan for violating a cease-fire agreement with government, which led to a clash between government and MILF forces in October last year. The clash in AI Barka town left 19 Special Forces soldiers dead. MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said the three were suspended for three months starring February 11, in compliance with recommendations for sanctions made by the International Monitoring Team which investigated the October 18 d~,~ll. The ThlT, a multinational body headed by Malaysia, is tasked to oversee the implementation of the ceasefire agreement. The body completed its probe last month and said both the AFP and the i\1ILF committed ceasefire violations. The government and MILF panel in peace negotiations took up the Team's findings about two weeks ago. when they met in Malaysia, and they agreed to "drop and close the case," according to the military. Iqbal said one of those suspended is Laksaw Asnawi, 'deputy commander of the 114th Base Command. He said' he could not recall the names of the two other commanders sanctioned by the MILF. MILF spokesman Von AJ Haq said he does not know the names of the 'two other commanders. Iqbal said, u'!le suspended the three commanders of the IMILF, including Asnawi and two others. We suspended them for three months and they were told to undertake education, especially on the cease-fire agreement," said Iqbal. Asked what the punishment of suspension means, Iqbal said, "They have no functions and they cannot command their forces' and will be on

Dan

schooling." MILF vice chairman for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar, asked for the names of the two other commanders, said: "1 did not memorize the names of the commanders." J aafar .said the three would undergo education "about discipline and $0 on and so forth." Iqbal said the Mll.P is .respecring the findings of the IMT. "The fact that we punished our commanders is an indication that we also agree that the MILF had violated the agreement but I don't want to go into details because we might be accused by the other side of divulging information," he said. AFP Peace Process head Col. Dickson Hermoso earlier said the Armed Forces is respecting the IMT findings but is not imposing further sanctions as those named in the IMT report have been relieved from their posts and are now facing court martial.

with gocernment
By Mario J. Mallari
I' ••

Three commanders suspended, for violating truce
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The secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) 'has suspended three commanders in Basilan 'for violating, the ce ••seflre agreement with the government.in connection with last Oct. 's lO-hour firefight with OFFICE OF THE ARMY' Army Special Forces in AI Barka d: oacpa_hpa@yahoo.com , . town that resulted in the killing of 24 people.
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MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said the MILF CentralConunittee has suspended Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) 114th Base Command

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deputy commander Dan Laksaw Asnawi and two other commanders in compliance to the findings of the International Monitoring Team (IMT) regarding the incident. We suspended the three "commanders of the MILF." we suspended them for three months and "then thay are told to undertake education, especially on the ceasefire agreement, Iqbal said. Iqbal, however, could not recall " the names of the other two suspended MILF commanders. The Malaysian-led IMT found violations of the ceasefire

agreement both from the The IMT findings were" " government andMILF sides after subsequently submitted" to the conducting verification of the 10- government of the Philippines hour clash between the MILF and and" MILF peace panels, which" Army troops last Oct, 18 in discussed the issue during their Barangay Cambug, AI Barka that last exploratory talks in Malaysia resulted in the killing of 19 last month. soldiers and five MILF fighters. Iqbal said that the government The Army troops were out paneldeclared the IMT report as ,to serve warrants of arrest internal' and should not be against Asnawl and Abu Bayyaf declassified and made public, member Long Malat when the We have to abide by that clash broke out: " although we do not like it but it's The IMT noted the lack of the rule, Iqbal said. coordination between the Iqbal also acknowledged that government troops and theMILF the MILF yields to the findings of that led to the clash. the iMT that there were violations

of the ceasefire. The fact that we punished our " commanders is an indication that • we also agree that the MILF had" , violated but"! don't want to go into details so that the other side could not say that I am divulging information, Iqbal said. On the part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, four senior officers of the Army's elite Special Forces have been subjected to pretrial investigation for possible court martial proceedings, Also, the four officers were relieved of their positions.

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Tentorio case: 2. tagged 'brains' not charged
COTABATO CITY-A colleague' Buenaflor and former police of murdered Italianmissionary chief Benjamin Rioflorido as Fr; Fausto Tentoria questioned masterminds appeared to ,have the failure of the National Bu- been disregarded in the filing of reau 'of Investigation to charge the charges. ' a businessman and a former poCharged by the NBI at the relice chief as-masterminds in the gional trialcourt of Kidapawan, 'murder of Tentorio on Oct. 17, City were confessed gunman last year. Jimmy Ato, his brother Robert, Fr. Pete Geremia, Tentorio's and brothers Jose Sultan Samcolleague at the Pontifical Insti- pulna and Dima ,Maligudan, ,tute for Foreign Missions Sampulna. (Pirne), said the confession In his confession, Ato tagged made by the gunman in the ' Buenaflor and Rioflorido, formurder that tagged William mer police chief of Arakan, North Cotabato, as masterminds in the murder of Tentorio. ' Ato said Tentorio was killed because of his opposition to a hydropower plant project in, Arakan, which would have benefited some landowners, Geremia said he believed Ate's confession was credible. "But until now there has been no development in his revel ation," said Geremia, ' . Tentorio was leaving his convent, in Arakan for a clergy meeting in Kidapawan City when he was assassinated. , He was 'the third Pime missionary murdered in Mindanao since 1985. In 1985, a group of militiamen headed by Norberta Manero murdered Fr. Tulia Favali in Thlunan, North Cota.bato, Manero had been convicted of the murder but pardoned by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Jeoffrey Maitem, Inquirer Mindanao·

Navy slay suspects want Ombudsman impeached
Ordonez was only a lieutenant commander at the time of PesTHE LAWYERof the Navy offi- tafio's death on Sept. 27,1995, cers accused of murdering En- when the latter'S body was dissign Philip Pestafio in 1995 yes-. covered aboard the Navy vessel terday raised the possibility of BRPBacolod Citywith a gunshot filing an impeachment, com- ' wound in the head. :' plaint against Ombudsman Under Republic Act No. 8249, Conchita Carpio Morales over . or the Sandiganbayan Law, the her decision to revive the case. antigraft court only has jurisdicAna Luz Cristal said Morales tion over officers with the rank had shown "gross ignorance of of naval captain and above and .the law" when she reversed a with salary grade 27 and up;' 2009 ruling by her predecessor Cristal pointed out .that the dismissing .ihecomplaint prosecution erred' whim. it against 10 Navy'officers alleged-placed Ordonez's rank as naval ly involved in Pestafio's death. captain "with .salary grade 26" , ''There are so many lapses and. in the complaint, errors. This is not just error but Ordonez, who retired in gross ignorance of the lawThere , . 2005, and another accused; rewas no murder. It was cleat .tired Chief Petty' Officer Carlita case of suicide," Cristal said, Amoros 0, appe ared in the press In a briefing at Camp Crame, briefing and insisted that they Cristal questioned the decision of were innocent. . the Office of the Ombudsman. to, Arriotoso, the alleged gunforward the murder complaint to . man who was initially reported the Sandiganbayan eventhough to have died; denied he was reit lacked the jurisdiction. sponsible for.Pestafio's death: , , "If the Sandiganbayan .has no "They said Iwas the killer,and jurisdiction over the respondents, that I was dead, I'm here very then the Ombudsman has no au- much alive. All those involved in ------------thorlty," Cristaltold reporters. the Pestana case are saying the -----,-------OFFICE OF THE ARMY CHIE She said retired Capt. Ricardo, truth and not lying," he said: .. 12)892-1693 Local: 5287,5295 By OJ Yap . ~ , .·A (0

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Navy men want acquittal in Pestafio slay
The Navy men implicated in the By CECILLE SUERTE FELIPE Ombudsman and Sandiganbayan death of Ensign Philip Pestafio in considering the rank of the Navy have no jurisdiction on the case of 1995yesterday called on the Officeof .personnel involved and the fact P~sta:fio.. . the Ombudsman to dismiss the case that the case was murder while';Underthe rules, the Sandiganagainst them for lack of jurisdiction the Ombudsman is mandated to bayan onl y has jurisdiction if the acas they maintain their. innocence in investigate casesrelated to graft and cused is navy captain·or full colonel. the crime. corruption. It is very dear that the Ombudsman The lawyer of Capt. Ricardo Or- . Ordonez said he could not kill has no jurisdiction or has committed dofiez and Chief Petty Officer Car- anyone. "I have been lay minister a mistake," the lawyer said. lito Amoroso urged Ombudsman since 1997. Hindi ko magagawa ang . The legal counsel added that trial .Conchita Carpio-Morales to speed pumatay (I am not capable of kill- should be heard in a military tribuup resolution of the case.· ing). I am the number one in my nal be~aus: the allege~ crime was "We are calling on Ombudsman class. in naval course," Ordonez ..co:mnuttedmaNavyshipandcotild Morales to immediately dismiss the said. He was lieutenant conunander .involva "national security matters." case," said. lawyer Ana Luz Cristal in 1995 and retired in 2005. . "Milraming lapses, maraming erduring a press conference. .. Amoroso, fagged as the gunman. ror. Nakakahiya man sabihin; hindi Sheadded that the caseshouldb,ave of Pestano maintained that he did . na error ito, gross ignorance of the been.resolvedby the Ombudsman . not know the victim personally. H~ law and disrespect of the law ito," ''We want this case to end. We do said he was not aboard the ship at Crista1 said. "Walang murder, diio. not wanta dismissal, we want an the time of Pestaiio's death since he Suicide po ito na maliwanag (There acquittal," Cristal said. . was at the Naval Intelligence and were many lapses and errors. It's She said the Ombudsman has yet Security office when the incident embarrassmq to admit, but this i~ to resolve their motion to quash the allegedly took place.. '. already gross ignorance ~f _the1,~W .. information for lack of jurisdiction, ' Cristal pOinted out that the It was not murder, but SUICIde).

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/1Ebt )Manila ijUmtS /
Children in armed conflict
was given appropriate medical attention for her wounds and after recuperation, was transferred to the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. The kindness accorded to her by her captors apparently changed her perception, thus she decided to join the Armed Forces of the Philippines as a regular soldier later on to start a new life. Further, despite the so-called amendment to their rules on recruitrnent, employment of minors and children in the rebel group's combat-related activities continues. In addition to the Ielyn Dayong case, the local media is replete with stories on the sad plight of these children. The following are part of the recent accounts from the local media establishing the facr of continuous recruitment and exploitation of minors by the CPP-NPA : December 2006 - Three minor NPA combatants were rescued by a joint police and military outfit in San Vicente, Palawan, The three, Kalvin B. Encoy 15, Ilmor De la Pena 15, and Iethron Z. Undaloc 14 were supposed to be on a test mission out to assassinate a former NPA member when they were intercepted. Captured from the trio were an M-16 rifle and a caliber 38 revolver both loaded with live ammunition. January 21, 2007 - Rosemarie Tomas, 15 years old and Ailyn Quintos, 16 years old were captured by government troops after a fierce gun battle in the hinterlands of Cagayan.' Both were wounded during the clash and were given first aid medical attention by government troops before they were evacuated to the proper hospital for further medical treatment. These are just a few accounts .that show a well-built basis to argue that, indeed the CPP-NPA continues to employ child warri-

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armed conflict it has always been the women and children who are most vulnerable. Considering their physical, emotional and psychologicallirnitations in dealing with the ugliness of war, they are the ones who sufferthe most. These are the two sectors of society who bear . the most physical and emotional -.trauma of hostilities. They are the ones who are either maimed or worse, killed. It is thus certain, that these .potential victims would as much as possible, steer clear in the fray of the two protagonists in an armed conflict, for definitely war only brings much suffering and pain to them. But nothing would .be more hurting than being forced to be involved in an armedhostility against one's own volition. Being forced to participate in an activity, that endangers one's life and limb, certainly takes a heavy toll on one's psychological well being, more so if the one involved is a child of tender age. Children's involvement in armed conflict has . long been arnongthe controversial issues in the international Scene. The United Nations as wellasother international organizations. work- . ing for children's welfare has:beencontinuously exerting all efforts to stop the involvement of children, whether directly or indirectly from any form of armed confrontations. Sadly, the efforts being made by said entities appear inadequate to fully fulfill their noble cause. The use of children in armed conflict, particularly in strife tom countries . in Africa and the Middle East remains unabated.
. OCCLJts,

'NHENEVER

ALEXANDER YANG
NPA) has been a long standing practice ever since their inception up to the present. The practice of recruiting even children for armed combat by the CPP-NPA can be inferred from the organization's own document containing their basic rules. Point Iprinciple III of the document entitled "Basic Rules of the New People's Army" mentions that recruitment to the rebel group can be done regardless of age; thus, anybody, even a seven or ten year old may be tapped by the CPP-NPA for their armed activities. In an attempt to . contain the negative backlash received from various sectors, both local and .international, subsequent amendments to their basic rule were made .in 1999, restricting.recruitment only to those who are 18 years of age and above. While the move may appear laudable on its face, let us bear in mind that this action was prompted by the growing international clamor to put to a halt the exploitation of children, especially in armed conflict. Likewise, it was established that the CPP-NPA had long been using minors and children to further their so called armed revolutionary warfare. A case in point is that of Ielyn Dayong. Back on February 16, 1999, Jelyn. together with her former comrades from the New People's Army figured in a clash with government troops in . Alegria, Surigao del Norte. Shewas wounded in the said firefight and was left on her own by her comrades. Only seventeen then, she

.in the Phihppines

(hildwarriors

Regrettably, the foregoing situation is likewise a reality here in our country. The use of child warriors by rebel groups, particularly the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-

ors. Perhaps, the strongest rebuff against the group would be the excerpt on the official report made by the United Nations Security Council last October 26, 2006 quoted herein. . Development in the Philippines, (Item No.) 93 - Children continue to be targeted for recruitment, allegedly by the New People's Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (and the National Democratic Front) despite stated policy of the CPP prohibiting the recruitment of anyone under 18 years of age into (the) NPA. NPA claims that it assigns children to self-defense and non-combatant duties. From lanuary 2005 to June 2006, the United Nations team, in collaboration with child protection actors on the ground documented 22 cases of children affiliated with the NPA. During the lastouatter of 2005, (the) NPA allegedly stepped up reo erui tment in the Visayas provinces, including Negros Occidental. There have also been reports that children from. indigenous communities in Northern Luzon and (in) many parts of North-eastern Mindanao have been joining (the) NPA. In all (of] these areas the actual number of children being recruited is difficult to determine. ,. Children are supposed to be the hope of the future. It is thus, necessary that their moral, physi- . cal, psychological and social well being be nurtured in order to ensure that they grow into productive and well meaning adults who can contribute for the betterment of the community. Employing them as child warriors definitely runs counter to these goals. All sectors must, therefore join efforts in curbing the continuous exploitation of children and minors in armed conflict. Groups that continue to take advantage of the child's innocence should be out rightly condemned and be made accountable before the law.

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March 2012
TRUTH SHALL PREVAIL

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Search For Truth
ByERNESTO M. MACEDA

NPA strikes. again
· ,Suspected NPA rebels burned 5 heavy equipment of RD. Policarpio Construction Corp, at their Tiplex jobsite in Tarlac, Tarlac. It is believed they are the same group that burned · 16 bll:ses of Victory Liner at their garage m La 'Paz, Tarlac a few months · The 9 other contractors domg the Tiplex project have received letters from the NPA asking for taxes giv-. .' ing their bank account numbers. It is bewildering that 'the NPAs can operate freely in the President's ~ome province considering that there are no mountainous areas in Tarlac.· ,.' The uncontrolled NPA demand for "taxes" will set back the administration infrastructure program. Note that the NPA rebels burned 100 pieces of equipment worth PI billion at the Taganito Nickel Asia mine and two other. mines in Surigao del Norte,. . The NPAs also kidnapped a Mayor in Sungao del Sur, attacked' several banana plantations and other farms in the 3 Davao provinces. .. The last 12 months, The NPAs attacked 8 police stations in Agusan del Sur, Northern Samar, N:gr~s and the Bicol provinces. They are freely operating ill the Sierra Madre mountains from Quezon to Abra, They are certainly defeating government forces and can attack in any province at will with the AFP /PNP quite helpless. . .' This is a big deterrent to foreign investors and tourists.

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61 March 2012

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Shooting Straight·
By BOBIT S. AVILA

NGOs linked with ICPP blocking power plants
Finally we are seeing the end of the national frustration that Filipinos get to see on nationwide TV when the Prosecution team bungled its way in this excruciating Senate Impeachment triaL In the end, they came up with an anti-climactic end resting their case and making a surprise decision to drop the other impeachment articles 1, 4, 5, 6 and 8. Hmmrn, it just makes you wonder why they dropped these articles ... perhaps they couldn't get someone to lie, cajole, steal or fake any documents related to. those articles. So now; the final battle that the defense needs to prepare are for articles 2, 3 and 7. Having reduced the impeach- . ment articles to only three the Senate court can now speed things up. Now whether reducing the articles to three will result in a conviction of C] Corona remains to be seen. Getting 16 Senators to vote against the Chief Justice is not easy especially that many of these Senators would be seeking the votes of the people a year from now. Gauging on the massive INC rally last Tuesday, while it was apolitical, ina way, it was the INC's way of reminding the Senators that like it or not, they are a political force to reckon. with in the 2013 elections. . Summer will soon be here and once more Mindanao will suffer power outages because like it or not, many of their power sources come from hydro power plants. That means chances are high that what happened to Mindanao last year will be repeated again this year. So what's new under the present centralized system of governance, where we never fix our problems? I've been cutting news reports about
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this in the inside pages of our national dailies ... like what The STAR reported last Friday entitled "NGCP resorts to power curtailment in Mindanao." Currently Mindanao has a total capacity of 1,052 MW, but its demand is 1,263 MW, which is a 211 MW deficit, This has now affected the Cities of Davao and Cagayan de Oro and while the summer drought has not yet started, things could go from bad to worse. A year ago, I was in Davao City during the National Big Bike convention, but rather than join the big bike activities, I visited the 42.5 MWMini-Hydro power plant operated by HedcorSibulan, Inc., a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power Corp. It was a rough 10 kilometer 4x4 drive from the national road lip to the Sibulan River and it was truly awe-inspiring that Mindanao is so blessed with these mini-hydro plants that do not need fuel like bunker oil, Fortunately for Davao City, Aboitiz Power has embarked on its 3{)OMW coalfired power plant at a cost of P25 bil'Iion. This is a circulating fluidized-bed coal fired power plant that they dubbed "Cleanergy." It is similar to dean coal technology that the Global Power Corp. is operatingin Toledo City, Cebuin partnership with the Cebu Energy Development Corp. (CEDC) with its Taiwanese partners, the Formosa Power. . But I heard that there were problems in Davao due to the environmentalists who were trying to block: this project. If any, one of the biggest problems we face today are the non-government organizations (NCO) that block every power project so they could "earn" their keep, . This happened to us in Cebu when we were constructing our power plants.
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AVI LA
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From Page 17

Whenever the power industry tries to solve our power" problems, we almost always encounter problematic NGOs who insist that coal fired power plants are dirty and toxic, Of course, they don't tell you that there is a new technology called "Clean Coal" which Formosa Power has installed in the City of Taipei. A couple of years ago, the Cebu media got a first hand look at the Formosa Power plant sitting right beside a shopping mall. Its smokestack emitted only white smoke. E.ven my good friend, Super Bobby Nalzaro of DySS who always wear his; immaculate white clothes went up near

the top of the smokestack where we were engulf with white smoke and it was mere water vapor and he didn't get any black soot on his clothes." . Lately, Iheard that another NGO is causing problems in Zambales, Bataan and Olongapo City because the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SMBA) partnered with RP Energy, Aboitiz Power and the Taiwan Cogeneration Corp. (TCe) to construct a clean-coal power plant. Again, the NGOs insist that this technology doesn't clean up the coal, They just don t know that the Cebu media is the worst people to convince ... but we saw this technology in Taiwan "and now it is running smoothly in Toledo City. ." .If you looked closely, many of these NGOs have links with th~ ~1li7d front organization of the Communist Party of the Phihppm~s (Cl'P) whose only goal is to prevent our economy from movmg forward ~est the CPP becomes irrelevant. This is ~xactly.why were ~re not ~~ppy with the Aquino regime' s havm~ leftist. people lIke Political Adviser Ronald Llamas, whose ~hlef advisor IS FranCISCO Nemenzo, an avowed Marxist, This IS what we mean by P-Noy's sleeping with the enemy. "* . * , * For email ~esponses. to this a:ticle, write to vsbobita@mo-~zcom. com or v_sboblta@gmazl.com.Hlscolumnscanbeaccessedthrough wrvW.phIIstar.com. . "

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